Cargo Theft text over Texas flag background

Cargo Theft

The Cargo Theft crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you engaging in the theft or trafficking of stolen cargo. Cargo includes all kinds of commercial freight. Learn more detailed information about the Cargo Theft offense below.

Have you been charged with Cargo Theft? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Cargo Theft is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 31 “Theft.”

What is the current Texas law about Cargo Theft?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

(b) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) knowingly or intentionally conducts, promotes, or facilitates an activity in which the person receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, abandons, or disposes of:

(A) stolen cargo; or

(B) cargo explicitly represented to the person as being stolen cargo; or

(2) is employed as a driver lawfully contracted to transport a specific cargo by vehicle from a known point of origin to a known point of destination and, with the intent to conduct, promote, or facilitate an activity described by Subsection (b)(1), knowingly or intentionally:

(A) fails to deliver the entire cargo to the known point of destination as contracted; or

(B) causes the seal to be broken on the vehicle or on an intermodal container containing any part of the cargo.

How can I be charged with Cargo Theft?

You can be charged with Cargo Theft if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 31.18(b) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Cargo Theft?

If the total value of the cargo involved is $1,500 or more but less than $10,000 then a conviction for Cargo Theft is punished as a State Jail Felony,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to 2 years.

If the total value of the cargo involved is $10,000 or more but less than $100,000 then a conviction for Cargo Theft is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years.

If the total value of the cargo involved is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000 then a conviction for Cargo Theft is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree,4 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 20 years.

If the total value of the cargo involved is $200,000 then a conviction for Cargo Theft is punished as a Felony of the First Degree,5 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and up to life in prison. Note that the fine amount does not include a restitution penalty. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §31.18.

2 Texas Penal Code §31.18(c)(1)

3 Texas Penal Code §31.18(c)(2)

4 Texas Penal Code §31.18(c)(3)

5 Texas Penal Code §31.18(c)(4)

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